Chain, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, America

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Fort Point

The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

This triple-decker, brick-walled US military fortress was completed in 1861, with 126 cannons, to protect the bay against certain invasion during the Civil War…or not, as it turned out. Without a single shot having been fired, Fort Point was abandoned in 1900. Alfred Hitchcock made it famous in his 1956 film Vertigo – this is where Kim Novak jumped into the bay. Now the fort showcases Civil War displays and knockout panoramic viewing decks of the bridge's underside.

On Saturdays once monthly from March through October, staff demonstrate crabbing from the pier, available by lottery only (see website); November to February, inquire about spooky Saturday-night candlelight tours (reservations required).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers attractions

1. Golden Gate Bridge

0.11 MILES

Few cities boast a structure so iconic as the Golden Gate Bridge, commemorated in everything from films like The Maltese Falcon to not one but two emojis…

2. Presidio of San Francisco

1.12 MILES

Explore that splotch of green on the map between Baker Beach and Crissy Field and you’ll find parade grounds, Yoda, a centuries-old adobe wall and some…

3. Walt Disney Family Museum

1.18 MILES

An 1890s military barracks in the Presidio houses 10 galleries that chronologically tell the exhaustively long story of Walt Disney's life. Opened in 2009…

4. Crissy Field

1.24 MILES

War is for the birds at Crissy Field, a military airstrip turned waterfront nature preserve with knockout Golden Gate views. Where military aircraft once…

5. Baker Beach

1.26 MILES

Picnic amid wind-sculpted pines, fish from craggy rocks or frolic nude at mile-long Baker Beach, with spectacular views of the Golden Gate. Crowds come…

6. Presidio Officers' Club

1.35 MILES

The Presidio's oldest building dates to the late 1700s, and was fully renovated in 2014, revealing gorgeous Spanish-Moorish adobe architecture. The free…

7. Hawk Hill


About 2 miles west of Hwy 101 along Conzelman Rd is Hawk Hill, where thousands of migrating birds of prey soar along the cliffs from late summer to early…

8. Palace of Fine Arts

1.65 MILES

Like a fossilized party favor, this romantic, ersatz Greco-Roman ruin is the city's memento from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The…